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Heights


S T N CONTENTS E T CON Leal Rodriguez   The Artist Lexis Balaguer   Tragic Sophia Villasfer   No Stars   Framed Elegies Rachel Marra   Kakang Gata Alfred Marasigan   Sunkissed Nicko Caluya   Ang Pinakamatagal na Biyahe   Alas Diyes y Medya   Moriones Ramon Damasing   Sa Sulok   Madaling-araw Cedric Tan   The Piano Monster Ria Rigoroso   Untitled   Untitled

Paolo Tiausas   night life (pagtakas)   over pass Monica Esquivel   it’s not safe there either Roselyn Ko   Matapos ang Paghihiwalay Gian Dapul   Muro ami   Exercise 4.1 – futility   Sometimes, maybe, it doesn’t matter   Wave-particle duality


e h TArtist

on your president to change his ways, to change the nation. This tragedy is not unusual during this time of the year. The bones are where you come in. You hear sirens in the background as people clamber for help. It is the third bombing this month, as people grow desperate for aid. You are in Manila, District 3, and the UN has just decreed your nation as “unfit for human inhabitance”. The sky pours gray unending thoughts as you sit by sidewalk, an observer of the change of the weather. You stare at your umbrella, unopened as you wait for the rain to wash the streets clean. There is candle wax between the rubble, silent screams of disturbed corpses and prayers. Here lies everyone’s last memory, you think, as your hands grow prunes from the rain. You imagine their frame under gaunt and unyielding flesh, how it would be to draw them properly, the victims of the war. It is your job to stare at the bones that are left after each massacre, the devastating tragedy what puts food on your table. “Breaker Breaker, over.” At first you ignore it, as you try to make sense of the carnage around you, the Manila air sapping your strength as though thousands of

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The gothic walls of the church scream heresy as images of Saints and Sinners lay to waste at your feet. There are dismembered ivory hands among real ones located under what is left of the walls of San Agustin Church. The carnage seems dreamlike as you imagine going through each and every bone, the task of distinguishing what are centuries old and what are minutes young left to the forensic scientists of your team. The scene is painted as though a still from the middle ages, with brick and mortar bloodied by a different kind of invasion. As an artist who draws the faces of the dead, you try to imagine the church in its former glory, before the desecration of both time and the city’s grime. It is, after all, you who are commissioned to give life to the lifeless, as your bag of charcoal and onionskin paper sit by your feet. It is you commissioned to give hope to the grieving mothers, as you struggle to keep your camera still. A click and your analogue sketches of bones become digital Another terrorist attack has occurred, one of many now. They have developed better ways of inciting fear, through bombs that destroy everything but bone. The bones are their reminder that nothing is safe. The bones are a reminder that death is imminent without reform. The pressure is strong


tiny insects were feeding on your breath. You imagine it is you under the debris, waiting for the flies, then rats, then cats to scrounge through broken glass. Your team is taking its time to come, as you try your best to keep your charcoal dry. A gruesome image comes to mind, as you think of using a charred piece of rubble from the wreckage, if the need demand it. “Breaker, Breaker, are you there? We need the situation, over.” You hesitantly rummage through your bag, as you take out your walkie-talkie. The plastic feels warm against your clammy hands, unreal against the Intramuros landscape. The city of brick makes you nostalgic, as you remember the brick buildings in Malacca, the summertime, which seems so far away.

Students of art, you left as the war started. Malaysia had new scholarships. He had come from a country as torn asunder as yours, though its danger had passed and he was on the edge of recovery. You were not. Malaysia was the new safe haven for South-east Asia refugees. You could not resist going. He seemed bored then, as art students often do. You tried to seem indifferent, when in truth you were trying to remember his name. There were glances stole between you, or so you would We’ve got time. have liked to imagine, between lectures and You think of him then, the passive dinners. There cleansing sound of the ocean; the were talks full of what waves that washed you memoifs, the undertones ries. It is you by Malacca Bay, with suggesting that the ifs him, both visiting to this country could be. so different from yours, but Your toes were somewhat familiar in both atmo- buried in the sand, as sphere and temperament. You are he sat a few inches too reminded of home, thousands of far from you. There miles from here, the weight of the were others of course life left behind enough to make conversing a few feet you shudder. Escape would be the away, but your attenword to describe your decision to tion was elsewhere, leave your almost war-torn land, but ascent would be the justification, as you imagine his smile being directed to you.

drawn to the proximity of his laughing eyes. You and he had moments before this, secret touches and half-hearted talks about little things you and he would do after your semester abroad. You were planning to go back, find a way to fix things, work so that your widowed mother could finally get the life she deserved. He would go back as well, to a country even farther than Malaysia. He said he would learn to be a real artist, the kind that could give life to people, people whose lives deserved to be made into real portraits, unlike those found on the walls of Malaysia’s government buildings. There was small talk as well. Where do you work? What music do you listen to? What do you drink? Would you like to sit by the park with me? The Dorm’s Commons? You stared at the damp sand, running your fingers up and down the bottle of the beer he bought you, halfempty now. The final remembrance of his name brought hope. Rafael. The revelation of his name inspired you to write it in block letters. When he looked, you pretended to be writing yours instead. The tide came in with the morning, as you waited for the ocean to wash away the night’s memories. And the Ocean The arrival of your team snaps you back to attention as they get to work, meticu-


lously sifting through the different shades of black you worked so hard to preserve. Your comrades look grim in their blue and gray jumpsuits. One of them hands you a pair of rubber gloves, as they get to work, the memory of the explosion leaving only the vestibule intact. “Why are you so dressed up?” one of your colleagues asks, the one who looks like an action star from the films your grandmother used to watch. You realize how your yellow dress is the odd one out in the monochromatic crime scene. It leaves you a crumpled canvas mess, your ribcage highlighted by the weight of your supposed chore. “I was in the middle of something when you called.” You lie. The fact is, you cannot remember why it was today of all particular days you had decided to wear it. “Sige, bahala ka. You’ll be the one having to handle the bones anyway” “But not now” you reply. He hands you a skull anyway. The shape seems familiar, as you draw the underlying shapes that compose the image. You start with a circle, the charcoal scratching on the pad. There are three. Then you trace the curves of the cheek. You add flesh but the contours seem off. You add features, but right now, they seem like the features of someone else. “Your work seems sloppy today” says your team’s leader, as she passes. “You need to focus. We have a lot of bodies to name.” “Opo ma’am. Sorry po” you reply, trying your best to keep your thoughts from wondering elsewhere. “Hala,” she laughs, her serious

tone suddenly turning to jest. “Did we interrupt you ba from a date? Baka gusto mo siyang balikan!” “Ma’am, wala po talaga. There’s no one I’m waiting for.” “Basta, take care of your dress. Wouldn’t want to send you back all dirty.” Teases your other comrade, the one that looks like a convict. His laugh is echoed by the skull you hold. Ever the artist, you wonder what your insides look like under your damp summer dress. You wonder why it is today, of all days, that you decide to wear something so bright. Why it is today of all days when you decide that you must meet him. The sky decides to share your agony right then, as a bolt of thunder disrupts your thoughts. Between us. You first learned to draw faces then, memorizing the curves of his cheek, attempting to make each line faithful to his being. You learned to preserve that moment within yourself, before he left for another world, his own. You drew to remember the touch of his ivory hands, his wide shoulders now next to yours. You used your peripheral vision to memorize the way his jaws moved when he would talk, the way he played with his hand, the squint of his eyes against the setting sun. You draw and he sees you. “We’ve got time and the ocean


between us.” It was the first you’ve heard him speak since the bar. There was reassurance there, that he was still with you, real in every aspect, yet untouchable as well. He took out his sketchpad and tore a page. On it is you, yet more pristine, saint-like. He has depicted you as the virgin, eyes meek, yet alert, your hair a wave of conviction against your cheekbones, your lips full and slightly parted. “We’ve got more than that” you say, somewhat taken aback by the sudden gift. The wind got stronger then, as you dug your toes in deeper. The sand seemed to have fireflies, yellow under the darkening atmosphere. You scooped them out, staring hard as though they could shed light on the events of the past months, each glimmer of the day making you realize that your time with him is temporary. “It’s just glass, you know”. You don’t. He looks at you then with those eyes you wish you never saw, those lips which, at that moment, were on yours. The waves have built up as you felt yourself changing to foam. It was night when your features slowly melted with his, as the sun met the horizon. When it is over, you find yourself unable to breathe or think. All you know is that he has made a promise, that

you have made a promise, to meet by San Agustin in a year’s time. He had loved churches. He wanted to see the only landmark left standing. You imagine he wanted to marry you. You imagined wrong. We’ve got time and the ocean between us. It was a year today when you made that promise, a testament to the future and living normally, after that summer of waves. He said he’d find a job and see you. You said you’d be capable on your own, without the dependence of his smile or laughing eyes. He left Malacca then to do portraits in his own country. You went back to the Philippines and found work as a free-lance artist. You never expected to be drafted to help as forensic anthropologist. You never expected to draw his again, in this way. There is ash between your toes now. The torn down scaffolding mixes with the well-kept hands of saints. You realize how the clean the road is, save for the mess turning the cobbled way into ash and powdery mud. You see remnants of moon shadows, the beach seeming far away, as though a dream. You imagine it is your punishment, for the desire he has incited. You imagine that you will not be looking for the shape of his jaw with each skull the team will piece together, that you will not be hoping to find him and wish he had broken his promise of seeing you once more. “We’ve got time and the ocean between us.”


c i g a r T

Lexis Balaguer


Framed Elegies Sophia Villasfer

No Stars

Sophia Villasfer Why are there no stars in Manila? City lights substitute Starlight. Sleep in the present; can’t dream of the past. We are here, forget about light years. But I don’t want to forget about light years. Why are there no stars in Manila? I’m tired of following the searchlight. Why do you have to be in another universe? Answer me  from your galaxy. Lest block all memory from me to you.

Too many pictures of you in the living room. An inside joke behind the grin. You laughing at me. Your eyes tell thousands of stories. One of them is about how well you knew me.   Too many portraits of us in the bedroom. Gazing at the lenses. Squinting a bit at the flash. Our smiles whisper endearments only we understand. Or in your case, Understood.   Too many paintings you made hang by the dining room. Strokes of your past, the unsung present, the smudged contours of the future – now grayed. They sing your elegy as you lay There. While I will forever, love, stay here.

No wonder people sing of pretending that airplanes are shooting stars.


g n a k Ka a at G rachel marra

“Ginataang kalabasa,” sagot ni Neneng sa labing-isang taong gulang na si Jun nang tanungin nito kung ano ang nakahain sa mesa. Nanamlay ang pustura ni Jun, bumagsak ang mga balikat nito, at pumungay ang mga mata. Gata na naman. Tinitigan niya ang ulam (durog ang kalabasa na lumulutang-lutang sa malapot na gata), pagkatapos ay ibinaling niya ang tingin sa kasama sa hapag. Sumasandok na ng ulam si Neneng, ang katulong nila sa bahay. Suot nito ang karaniwan niyang daster at naka-headband ang maikli at kulot nitong buhok. Sa tantsa ni Jun, hindi lalampas sa edad na tatlumpu’t lima si Neneng. “Magiging matandang dalaga ka na niyan kung ‘di ka maghahanap ng asawa,” tukso madalas ng kanyang ina kay Neneng. “Sino naman po’ng papatol sa ‘kin? Lumba-lumba na ako!” Itinulak papalayo ni Jun ang platong puno ng kaning umuusok sa init at tumayo. “Busog po ako.” “Bahala ka, isusumbong—” Hindi na narinig ni Jun ang banta ni Neneng dahil mabilis itong tumayo at lumabas ng bahay. “Bad trip sa bahay, ‘sang linggo nang gata ulam namin!” Nakaupo sa isang bilog sina Jun, at ang mga kaibigan nitong sina Marco, Reggie, at Nilo.

Mula sa kanilang bahay, dumiretso si Jun kina Marco. Dahil Sabado naman, tinawagan nila sa telepono sina Reggie at Nilo upang ayain silang maglaro. Lahat sila’y nakatira sa iisang subdivision, kaya walang limang minuto, naroon na silang lahat sa kuwarto ni Marco. Naglalaro ng Yu-Gi-Oh cards sina Nilo at Jun, pinanonood sila ni Reggie, habang si Marco ay abala sa kanyang Gameboy. “Kailan ba kasi babalik mama at papa mo?” tanong ni Nilo. Bumunot siya ng isang baraha mula sa kanyang deck at inilapag sa sahig kasama ang iba pang mga baraha. “Defense!” “Next week pa.” “Bakit kasi hindi ka sumama?” tanong ni Reggie na nanonood sa laban nina Jun at Nilo. “E ‘tamong may klase e. Ayaw nila akong um-absent. Attack!” Isinalpak ni Jun sa sahig ang isang baraha sa sahig at kinuha niya ang barahang kalalapag lamang ni Nilo. “Tsaka, sabi nila, mapapagod lang ako sa biyahe.” Bahagyang tumingala si Marco mula sa kanyang paglalaro ng Gameboy. “Ay! Naaalala n’yo pa ‘yun, nu’ng field trip natin?” “Oo nga! Nu’ng sinukahan ni Jun si Teacher Rose!” “Nag-stopover pa tayo nu’n kasi nangasim buong bus!” “Oo na, oo na! Biyahilo na kung bi-


yahilo, panalo naman ako sa round na ‘to! Haha!” Ipinakita ni Jun sa tatlong kaibigan ang limang baraha na nasa kanyang kamay. “Nabuo ko ang Exodia, panalo ako haha!” Natatawang umiling si Reggie sa direksyon ni Nilo. Hinagis ni Nilo sa hangin ang mga natitira niyang baraha bilang pagsuko. “Lagi na lang!” ”Ganu’n talaga! Sige, banyo lang muna ako.” Kabisado na ni Jun ang mga pasikotsikot sa bahay nina Marco. Kahit na nakapikit alam niyang sa ikalawang palapag, magkatabi ang mga kuwarto ni Marco at ng kuya nitong nasa ika-apat na taon ng sekondarya sa eskuwelahan nila. Bago dumating sa hagdan, naroon ang banyo. Nang madaanan niya ang pinto ng kuwarto ng kuya ni Marco, nakarinig siya ng mga kakaibang ingay. Sumilip si Jun sa makipot na puwang sa pintong hindi nakapinid nang maayos. Kita niya ang kama—nakahiga rito ang kuya ni Marco, at sa ibabaw niya ay nakadapa ang isang dalaga. Naghahalikan sila. Lumapit pa si Marco sa awang ng pinto upang mas makita ang nangyayari. Malikot ang mga ulo at kamay nilang dalawa. Kitangkita ni Jun ang pagtatagisan ng kanilang mga labi, ngipin, at dila. Namawis ang noo niya nang maaninagan niyang gumagapang ang mga kamay ng kuya ni Marco mula sa balikat ng dalaga tungo sa dibdib nito. Naginit ang buong katawan ni Jun at naramdaman niyang parang sumikip ang kanyang brief. Umangat ang ulo ng dalaga sabay paghugot ng hininga. Napa-atras bigla si Jun. Kilala niya ang babaeng iyon. Si Cherry ang mentor ni Jun sa Chess Club nila sa eskwelahan. Nasa ika-apat na taon na rin ito ng sekondarya, tulad ng kuya ni Marco. Matalino at responsable, walang pagdududa mula kay Jun na si Cherry ang magiging valedictorian sa pagdating ng kanilang pagtatapos. Kung hindi pa nakita ni Jun ang nunal sa baba ng dalagang kasama ng kuya ni Marco, hindi niya makikilala si Cherry— idagdag pa rito na hindi niya suot-suot ang kanyang salamin.

Nagmadaling pumunta si Jun sa banyo at naghilamos agad. Hindi siya makapaniwalang si Cherry ang nakitang dalaga. Akala niya siya iyong tipo ng babaeng nangangako sa kanyang mga magulang na magkakanobyo lamang kapag tapos na sa kolehiyo. Tinitigan niya ang sarili sa salamin, paulit-ulit na dinadaanan sa alaala ang nasaksihan. Si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess ay pinanood kong makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco. Naramdaman na naman niya ang kakaibang pag-init ng kanyang katawan, pati na rin ang paninikip sa kanyang brief. Mula sa salamin, dumako ang paningin ni Jun sa kanyang shorts. Inangat niya ang garter ng kanyang shorts at brief. May nag-iba sa kanyang ari. Tumigas ito. Natakot si Jun. Hindi niya alam kung anong gagawin niya. Ayaw din niyang hawakan ang ari dahil baka kung ano ang mangyari dito. Dapat hindi ko na lang pinanood si Cherry na makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco—si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess. Inayos na lang niya ang kanyang salawal at hinatak paibaba ang kanyang kamiseta nang sa gayon ay matakpan ang pag-umbok ng kanyang ari. Dahan-dahan siyang naglakad pabalik sa kuwarto ni Marco nang nakatakip ang mga mata. Ayaw niyang makita kung ano pa man ang ginagawa nina Cherry dahil baka lalo pang lumaki ang problema niya sa pagitan ng kanyang mga hita. Pagpasok niya sa kuwarto, hindi siya pinansin ng mga kaibigan dahil abala ang mga ito sa panonood ng Saw


3 sa portable DVD player ni Marco. Nakaupo ang tatlong bata sa sahig, kaya pumwesto si Jun sa paanan ng kama ni Marco nang may unang nakatakip sa kanyang mga hita. Sa maliit ng screen, may isang lalaking dahan-dahang nilulunod sa dinurog na mga bulok na katawan ng baka. “Wooooahhh, ang cool.” Hangang-hanga si Reggie sa pelikula. Napahinga naman nang maluwag si Jun dahil bumalik uli sa normal ang pakiramdam niya habang nanonood. Halos gabi na nang umuwi si Jun. Pumunta siya sa kusina upang kumuha ng isang basong tubig at doon niya naabutang nagpipiga ng kinayod na laman ng niyog si Neneng habang sinisipol ang kantang Sayaw, Darling ni Willie Revillame. Umiindak-indak pa ito kasabay ng tiyempo ng kanta. Tumigil lang si Neneng nang mapansing naroon na si Jun. “Sa’n ka galing? Buong maghapon ka na sa labas a.” “Kina Marco po.” Mabilis na uminom si Jun at dumiretso tungo sa kanyang kuwarto. Pagkasara niya ng pinto, sinigurado niyang naka-lock ito at ibinaba rin ang mga blinds ng bintana. Humiga siya sa kama. Si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess ay pinanood kong makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco. Pinanood ko si Cherry na makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco—si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess. Tila mantrang umulit-ulit sa kanyang isipan ang mga pangungusap na iyon, ngunit hindi na malinaw ang eksenang bumalik sa kanyang alaala: babae at lalaking nasa kama, naghahalikan. Namayani ulit ang init sa kanyang katawan, ngunit

hindi naging lubos ang paninigas ng kanyang ari. Hinubad niya ang salawal at brief, at pinagmasdan ang sariling katawan. Nagtaka siya kung bakit ito nanigas nang ganoon, ngunit mas nagtaka siya kung bakit mas matigas ito noong nasa bahay siya ni Marco kaysa ngayong mag-isa na lang siya sa kanyang kama. Naalala niyang mayroon siyang letrato ni Cherry. Tumayo siya, hindi alintana ang pagkahubad. Sa loob ng cabinet ng kanyang study table, nagkalat ang iba’t ibang litrato ni Jun na panay kuha sa eskuwelahan. Inisa-isa niya ang mga ito hanggang sa makita niya ang hinahanap na litrato. Magkatabi silang dalawa rito. Walang suot na salamin si Cherry. Bahagya ring nakabukas ang kanyang bibig, at hawak-hawak niya ang itim na piyesang hari. Katatapos lang nilang maglaro ng chess—puti si Cherry—at talo si Jun. Bumalik siya sa kama dala-dala ang litrato. Pinagmasdan niya si Cherry, at unti-unti luminaw uli ang eksena. Si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess ay pinanood kong makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco. Pinanood ko si Cherry na makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco—si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess. Si Cherry na mapaglaro ang mga labi. Si Cherry na kinakapos ng hininga. Si Cherry na may boobs. Si Cherry na malikot ang mga kamay. Si Cherry na hawak-hawak ang hari. Bumalik uli ang paninigas ng ni Jun. Inilapag niya ang litrato sa tabi niya at hinawakan niya ang kanyang ari. Hindi niya alam kung tama ba o mali ang ginagawa niya, basta ang alam niya dapat may gawin siya. Hinahaplos-haplos niya ito at napaungol siya dahil sa sarap ng pakiramdam. Hindi siya makahinga ngunit gusto niya ang paninigas ng mga laman niya sa kanyang mga hita at binti. Ipinagpatuloy niya ito hanggang sa pabilis na nang pabilis ang pagtaas-baba ng kanyang kamay na mahigpit na nakakapit sa kanya. Sige pa, sige pa. Si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess. Si Cherry na mapaglaro ang mga labi. Si Cherry na kinakapos ng hininga. Si Cherry na may boobs. Si Cherry na malikot ang mga kamay. Si Cherry na hawak-hawak ang hari ko. Si Cherry na mapaglaro ang mga labi. Si Cherry na kinakapos ng hininga. Si Cherry na may boobs. Si Cherry na malikot ang mga kamay. Si Cherry na hawak-hawak ang ari ko. Si Cherry na mapaglaro ang mga labi. Si Cherry na kinakapos ng


hininga. Si Cherry na may boobs. Si Cherry na malikot ang mga kamay. Si Cherry na hawak-hawak ang titi ko. SiCherry siCherry siCherry siCherry siCherry siCherry siCherry siCherry siCherrysiCherrysiCherrysiCherrysiCherry CHERRY Nanginig ang buo niyang katawan habang sumisirit ang mainit na semilya mula sa kanya. Hingal na hingal siya at patang-pata. Ilang saglit lamang ang lumipas matapos tumagilid ni Jun sa pagkakahiga, nakatulog na ito. Naalimpungatan si Jun sa ingay ng mga tricycle. Gayong sarado ang mga blinds ng bintana, nakatakas pa rin sa mga siwang nito ang liwanag ng araw. Bumangon siya at nagtaka kung ano iyong naninikit sa kanyang palad at mga hita. Nang makita ang litrato nila ni Cherry sa kama, naalala niya kung saan nagmula ang puting mantsa. Sinubok niyang punasan ng lumang kamiseta ang mantsa ngunit nanikit na ito sa kanyang balat. Isinuot niyang muli ang kanyang mga pang-ibaba at tutungo na sana sa banyo upang maghugas, nang mapansing may mantsa rin sa kobrekama niya. Patay. Wala dapat makakita nito. Kinuha muna niya ang litrato ni Cherry, tinupi nang sa gayon ay si Cherry lamang ang makikita. Itinago niya ito sa kahon sa ilalim ng kanyang kama kasama ang mga pinakaiingatan niyang Yu-Gi-Oh cards. Pagkatapos ay hinatak niya ang kobrekama, sanhi upang bumagsak sa sahig ang mga unan at kumot. Hindi muna niya pinansin ang pagkalat ng mga gamit sa kanyang kuwarto. Ang nasa isip lang niya noon ay madala agad ang kanyang kobrekama sa labahan upang maibabad. Paglabas na paglabas ni Jun mula sa kuwarto ay si Neneng na kumakanta ng Ikaw Na Nga ang nakasalubong

nito. Kung wala lang dalang gamit si Jun, kukuskusin niya ang kanyang mga mata. Nagulat siya sa nakita. Naka-gel ang maikli at kulot nitong buhok. Natatakpan din ng makapal na kolorete ang mukha niya—alanganin ang pagkapula ng kanyang mga pisngi sa pagkatingkad ng labi niyang pink. Hapit ang blusa nito na ipinapakita ang kurbada ng kaniyang katawang mapapares sa bote ng Pepsi. Ang pantalon naman niya ay iyong checkered at hapit. Sa braso niya, nakasukbit ang bayong na tila ba isang mamahaling bag. Nailang si Jun sa bagong anyo ni Neneng. “Saan mo dadalhin ‘yan?” “A, paa-arawan ko lang po...E sa’n ho kayo pupunta?” “Mamamalengke lang.” “Sa talipapa?” “Oo, sa’n pa ba?” Pagkaalis ni Neneng, nagmadali si Jun papunta sa labahan. Nag-ipon siya ng tubig sa isang balde, at doon inilublob ang kobrekama. Ipinaapaw pa niya ang tubig upang masiguradong babad na babad ang tela. Walang pakialam si Jun kung ano uli ang itatanong sa kanya ni Neneng pagbalik nito, ang mahalaga para sa kanya ay walang makakakita ng ebidensya ng ginawa niya. Ang refrigerator ang una niyang pinuntahan pagpasok sa loob ng bahay. Pinaalala ng kumukulo niyang tiyan na halos isang araw na siyang hindi kumakain nang maayos. Pagbukas niya ng refrigerator, sinalubong siya ng lamig at ng sari-saring amoy ng pagkain. Mayroong mga saging at ponkan, mantikilya, kalahating rolyo ng cake, dalawang bote ng softdrinks, at mga naka-tupperware na tiratirang ulam na ginataan. Sa freezer, natagpuan niya ang pake-paketeng mga hotdog, burger patties, longganisa, at tocino. Nagulat si Jun sa dami ng mga pagkaing nasa freezer. Tantsa niya na sobrang tagal na ng mga iyon sa refrigerator dahil sa kapal ng yelong nakabalot sa mga ito. Kasabay din noon ay ang pagtataka niya kung bakit sa dami ng mga pagkaing puwedeng iluto ni Neneng, araw-araw pa siyang nag-aabalang pumunta sa talipapa ng kanilang subdivision ngunit panay naman gata ang


niluluto niya. Mabilis siyang kumain ng isang hiwa ng cake at sa mismong bote ng softdrinks na siya uminom. Nagpasya siyang sundan si Neneng. Hindi naman ganoon kakomplikado ang daan tungo sa talipapa—lalo na’t katabi lang ito halos ng basketball court, ang sentro ng kanilang subdivision. Maraming mga namimili, ngunit hindi gaano makapal ang mga tao. Naging madali lang para kay Jun ang matuntong si Neneng. Sa laki ng pangangatawan ni Neneng, imposible yatang hindi ko siya makita kahit saan, isip ni Jun. Naabutan pa niya ito sa gulayan na bumibili ng mga hiwa nang gulay. Pagkatapos ay sa bilihan ng niyog. Doon niya nakita ang isang lalakeng matipuno ang pangangatawan. Wala siyang pang-itaas na saplot habang nagkakayod. Maya-maya niyang inaagapan na huwag tumatagaktak ang pawis sa kaniyang ulo at katawan gamit ang isang tuwalya. Nangingintab ang kayumangging balat ng lalaki sa init ng araw. Isang kumpol ng mga mamimili – pawang mga babaeng bihis na bihis at makapal ang kolorete sa mukha – ang nakapila para bumili ng niyog. Isa roon si Neneng. Manwal ang kayuran ng niyog na ginagamit, sa isang sulok ng tindahan ay naroon ang demakinang kayuran ng niyog na may nakasabit na karatula: SIRA. Sa bawat paggalaw ng katawan ng lalake ay umuunat ang mga laman nito, lalo na sa mga braso. Halatang-halata sa mga babaeng nakapila na gustong-gusto nila

ang napapanood. Dumating ang pagkakataon ni Neneng para bumili. Dalawang niyog. Muli, walang tigil sa pag-indayog ang katawan ng lalake. Pagkasupot nito sa kinayod na niyog, dumampi ang kamay niya sa kamay ni Neneng. “Hm, kaya pala,” sambit ni Jun sa kaniyang sarili na natatawa. “Bukas uli ha,” Brusko at magaspang ang boses ng lalake. Abot-tenga ang ngiti ng matandang dalaga kahit na tumalikod na ito para lisanin ang pila. Tumakbo pauwi si Jun para maunahan si Neneng. Pagdating sa bahay binuksan agad nito ang telebisyon. Narinig niyang bumukas ang gate kaya nagmadali siyang umupo sa sofa, nagkukunwaring nanonood ng cartoons. Pagdating ni Neneng na dinaanan lang niya si Jun at dumiretso sa kusina. Hindi niya sinita ang bata dahil sa panonood ng telebisyon nang ganoon kaaga, tulad ng nakagawian. Hindi man lamang nito napansin na pawisan at humihingal ang bata. Eksaktong alas-dose ng tanghali ay naghain ng pananghalian si Neneng. Suot na nito ang karaniwang gayak nitong daster, nakaheadband na rin ang kanyang buhok. Wala na rin ang kolorete nito sa mukha. “Oy Jun,” babala ni Neneng, “‘pag di ka kumain ngayon hindi kita papayagang lumabas para maglaro.” Nilalapag pa lamang ni Neneng ang ulam sa mesa ay nakakunot na ang noo ni Jun. Walang sigla siyang nagsandok ng kanin at ulam.


Sumubo si Jun ng isa at pinilit ang sariling ngumuya. Pinaglalaruan niya ang kanyang pagkain gamit ang kutsara nang pumasok sa kanyang isipan si Cherry—si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess ay pinanood kong makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco. Pinanood ko si Cherry na makipaglaplapan sa kuya ni Marco. Si Cherry na matalino, responsable, at magaling sa chess. Si Cherry na mapaglaro ang mga labi. Si Cherry na kinakapos ng hininga. Si Cherry na may boobs. Si Cherry na malikot ang mga kamay. Si Cherry na hawak-hawak ang titi ko. Lumunok siya. Si Cherry. Si Cherry si Cherry Si Cherry. Mapaglarong mga labi. Kinakapos ng hininga. May boobs. Malilikot ang mga kamay. Mahigpit na pagkahawak sa titi ko. Pinagmasdan niya ang sabaw na pinaliligiran ang kanyang kanin. Si Cherry at ako sa kama. Mahigpit na pagkahawak sa titi ko. Si Cherry at ang kuya ni Marco. Taasbabataasbaba. Si Cherry at ang mangkakayod ng niyog. Taasbabataasbabataasbaba. Si Cherry na pinipiga ako. Taasba-

bataasbabataasbaba. Sumubo uli siya. Bahagyang nakabuka ang mga labi ni Cherry. Hawak niya ako. Bukas ang kanyang mga labi. Lumunok siya at pumikit. Pagdilat niya, ang unanguna niyang nakita ay si Neneng na sunod-sunod ang pagsubo ng pagkain. Isang linya ng maputing gata ang nabuo mula sa sulok ng kanyang bibig hanggang sa baba niya. Napasuka si Jun sa mismo niyang plato, at bago pa man muling mangasim ang lalamunan nito ay tumakbo siya tungong banyo at doon ipinagpatuloy ang pagsusuka.


Sunkissed  Alfred Marasigan


Ang Pinakamatagal na Biyahe Nicko Caluya

patungong Magallanes: dalawang oras at kalahati. Magtatanghali na noong isang Sabadong nagdaan simbagal ng muling pag-usad ng araw. Unti-unting inuubos ng apoy ang katawan ng mga bahay-bahay hanggang walang matirang buhay. Parang na uhaw na nagmamakaawa sa grasya ng ulan. Walang ibang naisukli ang konduktor at mga pasahero kundi pagtutok habang tinutupok ang mumunting paraiso sa kinagisnang impiyerno. Sa paghinga namuo sa may bintana: nawala man sa paningin, nanuot sa loob ang bumigat na usok galing sa labas. Ipinagpatuloy pa rin ang prusisyon ng mga sasakyan hanggang makarating din sa wakas ang awa sa isipan. Nang nakita ang biyayang nadaanan: sayang ang advance kasaganahan, ayon sa nakasulat sa ibabaw ng tela at habang nakalatag, nagpapansin sa kahabaan ng bangketa ang mga batong nangingitim.


Sa Sulok Ramon Damasing

Nahulog. Ang isang barongbarong Nahulugan Ng limang, pisong barya. Ang tambog Tanso Sa basang karton, Lumukso. Ang pinting Ng mga daliring yayat Magantimpagal. Ang ulan Malaong Ipinapawi Ang barya Sa palad. Pumipikpik Ang ulan Sa karimlan. Nahulog Ang isang barya.

Madaling-araw Ramon Damasing

Wari uha ang hinihilom Ng palad niya. Tumutulo Sa paanan ng bundok ang sugat Sa pagbungkal, pinagsisilsil Ang ilang nanunuyong punlang Nananalaytay. Sa hamog Ng liwayway, kumikislig sa pagsuyod Ang isang kalabaw. Namumuo Sa liwanag ang iilang tapak. At tumambad Ang isang namumulang bakas: Hiwa sa paang pinikpik. Sa binungkal, alasuas Ang bumitig sa alangaag. Sa pagbaling niya: Tandang lang. Pumupukaw.


Alas Diyes y Medya Nicko Caluya

Sa tasa itinimpla ang pinakuluang tubig sa takure, tigkalahating kutsara ng asukal laban sa lasa ng kapeng kay pait. Hinipan, singaw ng init, ngunit biglang natabig sa mesang maliit. Humalo sa tubigulang mula sa labas.

Moriones

Humampas ang hangin, pinatuloy ang putikang si Ineng na nanginginig.

Nabalot ng liwanag ang katawan na balot sa kasuotang metal at tela.

Nicko Caluya

Sa linggong iyon hinanap ang taksil na saksi sa himalang pinaghihinalaang ang dugo sa lansa ang mumulat sa bulag. Napuno ang bawat lansangan ng mga tao, sundalong balbas-sarado tungong kalbaryo, sa penitensyang maglakad hanggang hapon. Sa parehong talim nahulog ang anino sa tapyas ng kanyang maskarang kahoy patungo sa butas ng nasirang mata, at sa leeg na ginuhitan ng dugo. Sa huling sandali, tumapat siya sa langit, naniwala.


The Piano Monster

Cedric Tan

Too long I had been seated on the couch, ignoring the phone calls and turning away the people at the door. Their condolences and consolations, I just took and threw into the corners of the room. I needed none of that. Even my sense of the passage of time, I had abandoned. I couldn’t tell anymore how long I had remained in my self-imposed confinement, when I had last taken a bath or eaten a decent meal. If I had to wager, I would say it had only been mere days since the funeral. I didn’t care. The fact that the ground had really pulled her into its clutches and was going to keep her there for the rest of conceivable eternity had rendered the ticking of the clock absolutely useless to me. Now, there was only me embracing the darkness and the cold, and then the cold and the darkness embracing back. If only the piano would leave me alone, too. When she was still with me and very much alive, she carved her life out of musical instruments and the wondrous sounds she could produce with them. When she died, the first thing that went into the fireplace was

her violin, followed quickly by her guitar. The flames consumed the polished, wooden bodies very quickly. I don’t know why I did it – it seemed so desperate, ritualistic and pointless, but right enough anyhow to push me to do it. The piano, however, was difficult to burn in the same way, which is why I’ve since left it standing against the wall, untouched. At some point I considered hacking at it with one of the many power tools lying about the house, but then decided against it. If I were going to wallow in some meaningless self-pity for a while longer, I was going to do it the proper way: with a single reminder of her present in the room. It was staring at me now. It was a simple, upright piano, very much unlike the grand pianos one would find in a majestic concert hall, arrogant in all their gleaming glory. This one had a dark wooden body, with just a few noticeable scratches on its slender legs that told of its age. I had observed her playing often enough to be familiar with the keys: eighty-eight black and white teeth, each one creating a specific sound when touched. When the piano opened


up its maw, it presented the limitless combinations and variations of the sound of music, waiting to sing both the songs heard the world over and songs yet to be composed. However, right then its mouth was shut. The part of its face that I could only notice now was its four eyes – the quartet of decorative squares above the mouth, upon which leaned the paper pieces to be played by its musician. They watched me sitting in the darkness, watched me casually shift from various positions, watched as I drifted, weeping sometimes, in and out of my sleep. It watched me, and then before long I was watching it too. We remained at that sort of impasse for a long, long time, unmoving, unwilling to give each other the satisfaction of lasting the staring contest. At first it was easy; I already had the practice in staying still, ignoring the sweep of time’s passing. Eventually, however, it struck me how resolute the instrument was. I conceded and spoke to it. “What?” My voice was rough from the lack of use; my breath stank horribly. The piano seemed to acknowledge my defeat in our contest of endurance and duly answered: “Oh, nothing.” Angered, I straightened up in my seat and faced the piano, breathing hard. “You have anything else to say?” I demanded. “Nothing,” it replied.

The shadows played on the carpet, shifting positions, dancing to the sway of the curtains. I watched them lifelessly from my seat on the coach, imagining what she would have said to the mingling of the darkness and light. I ruffled my already messed-up hair and chuckled humourlessly at the little show. There were more spots of shadow than there were of light. How ironically perfect. How perfectly ironic. A piece of biscuit dangled between my lips. I left it there, playing with it between my teeth, refusing to eat it until the moment I felt like I was about to faint. It would’ve been left there for a while, if it weren’t for the piano, too. “Just eat it,” it told me. “Why?” I asked, careful to keep the biscuit intact in my mouth. “Why not?” “Just leave me alone.” It didn’t move. It stayed put where it was in the corner of the room, right where she always played her music, and for a few minutes returned to quietly staring at me. Now the biscuit was tickling my dry tongue, and for a while I was tempted to quickly swallow the morsel whole, instead of slowly nibbling away at it as planned. “Damn,” I murmured. “Is there a problem?” the piano asked, sarcastically. “Would you just shut up?” As I said it, the biscuit crumbled in my mouth. I swallowed it


bitterly, feeling like the piano was just barely able to suppress laughing at me. It kept its face blank, but its straight mouth was just on the verge of twitching. All my pain and confusion, all the pity I had for myself – they were funny to the piano, and it wanted to laugh. Why hadn’t I burned the thing, again? I had gotten so used to the darkness that wherever I walked in the house, it hung from my shoulders like a blanket, or perhaps a regal cape. It followed me wherever I went, its grand design flowing in my sleepy wake. This time I was looking at the array of picture frames that lines the shelves, at smiling, sunlit faces, one of which I would never see again. One by one, I brought my hand up and turned each frame facedown until the whole line of remarkable backdrops and happy days had disappeared. I stopped moving. It was watching me; I could feel it. For some time I waited for it to look away, but its gaze on my back was relentless, insistent on staying there to harass me. Frustrated, I turned around and screamed at it, “What is your problem!? Can’t you just leave me alone?” “No,” it replied simply. The dark figure of the piano seemed to loom in its place in the corner. How ugly. It was a monster, a vile thing only intent on making what was left of my life more miserable than ever. Its cool

voice was just a facade. This thing was a terror of terrors, a four-eyed abomination that was doubtlessly just waiting for the right moment to eat me alive. I wouldn’t give in to it. “Back off,” I warned. My voice was stronger, threatening, thrumming with resolve. At least, I thought it was resolve. It might’ve been desperation. “Just stay back. You... you think you’ve got me. But you don’t.” “Don’t I?” “No. Stay back.” In an effort to escape its sight, I ran to the kitchen and quickly fixed myself a sandwich. It was ridiculous – starving myself one minute, preparing some food the next. When I left the kitchen to sit back down on the couch – the couch smelled like me now, or perhaps I smelled like the couch – I held the sandwich with shuddering hands. The monster went back to watching me. I was still. I didn’t want to move too quickly. “Go. Take a bite,” it urged me, though it was like I was the one it wanted to take a bite of. “Don’t tell me what to do.” Slowly I put the bread to my mouth and ripped a piece off with my sore teeth. I must’ve chewed twice before spitting out the wretched pieces of bread, tomato and canned tuna. They were spoiled beyond belief. “Oh, my...” it uttered, singing false concern. “Does it taste bad?” “Rotten,” I muttered. “How the hell? I just bought these groceries a while back.”


“And how long was that? My, you’ve forgotten how long you’ve been here, haven’t you?” “I...” Very quickly I fell silent. I tried to convince myself that the groceries were just bad quality. The piano was right about one thing, though – I had no idea of telling how long I’d had myself locked up. But who was counting? The piano was, apparently. “Tick tock,” it said. “Tick tock.” My breathing was hard again. I wiped the back of my neck and was surprised to find how much I was sweating. The back of my shirt was stuck to my back, and my palms were moist. I reeked beyond description. Was it because I was afraid? Was I letting the thing in the corner of the room frighten me? No, I decided. It was just hot, that’s all. I strode over to the wall switch and flicked the ceiling fan on. Nothing happened. “What?” I murmured. I tried the lights. Still there was nothing. Next I went for the huge electric fan by the television. That didn’t work either. “What’s going on?” “You don’t know?” the piano chuckled from the corner. “They cut off your power. You haven’t been paying the bills.” “I just paid the bills, right before she died!” I roared back. “She was with me when I did, I remember that! What are you talking about!?”

“Look at the kitchen counter.” I did. On the counter were a few sheets of paper and some envelopes ripped open. Upon inspection, I found that they were electric and water bills, along with notifications and warnings of shutting me down if I didn’t pay up soon. But... when did these arrive? “I don’t remember these,” I murmured, stunned. “How silly of you. You’ve been getting those kinds of mail for a while now.” “But... it’s only been days since the funeral!” “Are you sure?” “I... but you... my god, how long have I been here!?” “Silly man. You’re the one who locked yourself up.” The piano refused to answer me further. I grabbed a salt shaker and hurled it at the monster. Unfortunately I missed, and it shattered against the wall, scattering broken glass on the floor. The clock in the room was trying to say something to me, but I couldn’t even bother listening to it. The pressure coming from the corner was preventing me from doing that, from doing pretty much anything. When a monster has its eyes trained unblinkingly at you, as if it were starkly hungry and you were the only thing that could satiate it, what could you do? The shadows and light were still dancing playfully all over the rug beneath my feet, although


now they seemed agitated by the presence of the piano too. I leapt up from the couch, wiped the sweat off my forehead, and then stood stiff and straight, hands clenched into angry rocks at my side. “What are you waiting for?” I asked it, furiously. “You,” the piano monster answered seductively. “I told you,” I managed to let out through my gritted teeth, taking a single step toward it, “You have nothing over me. You have no control. You might as well leave me alone.” “That’s a lie.” For a statement so incredibly simple, it hit me rather hard. “Explain.” “You miss her. I remind you of her. I have all the power over you that I could possibly have.” I felt a chill running down my spine now, but I shook it off, unwilling to back down from this monstrosity. “I’m better than that,” I said, stepping closer towards it. “You don’t believe yourself.” “Shut up!” Now I slapped my hands on its upper lip, grasping the grainy surface, memories somewhere stirred by the touch of wood but kept down by the boiling blood. “You think I’m weak!? You think I’m fragile? Maybe I should grab a sledgehammer out from the back and turn you into a pile of sawdust, huh? Or maybe I could torch you and watch you go up in flames! How would you like that? How would you!? Then we’ll

see who’s really the breakable one here!” “You’re so sad... so lost...” “I said, shut up!” I raised my fists high above my head and then brought them down, banging it on the wood so hard that the skin on my hands blistered. A brief moment followed, in which I had to stop my tears from running down my face and mixing with my sweat and spittle. I tried to control my shaking. It took more physical effort than I had ever exerted before to get my whole system under control, and by the time I had done that, I realized that the piano had softened its look on me. It was now staring at me not as if I were food, but as if I were a strange little creature who had suddenly, curiously, just popped into existence. “Sit down,” the piano told me. I pulled the piano bench out and collapsed onto it. I had no choice but to follow its directions; I was without any of my own. Once I was seated in front of it, the piano opened its maw wide, revealing to me all eighty-eight of its black and white teeth. They glimmered, beckoning me to reach out and touch them. “Play,” it ordered me. “One of the songs that she taught you.” I gaped dumbly, taking a full five seconds to understand its instructions. Could I even...? I lifted my fingers to the keys, hesitantly, not even sure what I was really doing. But the moment I pushed one down to make the


first note, everything changed. The darkness dropped from my shoulders, slid slowly down my back and crumpled to the floor. All of a sudden everything seemed a little easier. Not greatly, but still, easier. My hands felt it, and in a moment they were moving gracelessly, awkwardly, across the keyboard in a dance to which I thought I had already forgotten the steps. The sound filled up the room instantly, rebounding off the walls and furniture and sweeping the light and shadows into a frenzied dance. Slowly but steadily, my playing became more fervent. In turn, the music intensified, every note and chord and echo ringing with power. I erected my back just a bit, and then began playing the pedals with my foot too, gently pressing and releasing in time to the song’s subtle meter, just the way she had taught me. I think that the piano was quite pleased with my efforts. The music was... almost beautiful. But then I realized where I was headed, saw all the danger in what I was doing. I was marching right towards the belly of the beast. It had hypnotized me, and foolishly I was headed towards my own demise. I froze, and everything – the music, the dancing – stopped. Silence dominated the room once more. “No,” I snarled angrily. “You’re not going to eat me. Not today.” I slammed the piano’s mouth shut with my hands, stood from

the bench so abruptly that it collapsed onto the floor, and marched away, as fast as possible. But even as I did so, even as the light and darkness watched me stomp away, the piano called to me in a voice like honey. “You’ll come back,” it sang. “You’ll play again. You will.”


Ria Rigoroso


night life (pagtakas) paolo tiausas

nagwawala ang patay-sinding strobe lights kaya hindi ko masundan ang naghahabulang mga bilog na ilaw ng pula at dilaw. namumuo ang pawis sa gilid ng aking mukha habang tumutugtog ang mabigat na musika. nanunuot ang lamig ng gabi at hindi ako makagalaw sa sobrang siksikan ng mga nakapaligid sa akin. shotgun ganja buddha, sabi ng kanta. handa na akong tumakas mula sa lahat. bayad na bayad na ako sa karma.

over pass paolo tiausas

malayo ang pagitan ng dalawang dulo ng isang overpass. sa puwang ng mga hakbang ng inakyat kong hagdan. nakatawid at nakababa na at saka kita natagpuan sa dakong pinanggalingan. bakit pa may tawiran.


r e h t i e e r e h t e f a ivel s u q t s e o a n c it’s moni


Dahan-dahan niyang isinara ang pinto ng kanilang bahay. Napakaganda ng araw sa labas. Isang napakagandang araw para pumasok na naman sa paaralan. Binagalan niya ang kanyang paglalakad. Mistulang may pumipigil sa pag-usad ng kanyang mga paa. Para bang nanginginig ang buo niyang katawan habang tinutumbok niya ang daan papasok sa kanilang eskwelahan. Muntik-muntikan pasiyang masagasaan ng isang rumaragasang sasakyan. Ang ganda-ganda nga naman talaga ng araw na ito. Sinubok niyang bagalan pa ang kanyang paglalakad. Marami na ang bumati sa kanyang mga kaklase, hindi pa rin niya ito pinapansin. Lumilipad na ang kanyang isipan kung saan-saan. Hindi nagtagal ay nasa harapan na pala niya ang pintuang papasok sa kanilang silid-aralan. Matindi ang init na dala ng sikat ng araw sa labas. Ang ganda nga naman talaga ng araw na ito. Pero balewala pa rin ito sa kanya. Marahan siyang pumasok sa silid. Naramdaman niya ang pagtitig ng lahat ng kanyang mga kaklase sa kanya na para bang may ginawa siyang kasalanan. Lumapit sa kanya ang isa niyang kaklase at ipinatong ang kamay sa kanyang balikat. Muli, binalewala na naman niya ang pagdamay ng kaklase sa kanya at dahan-dahang umupo sa kanyang silya. Binuklat niya ang kanyang kuwaderno at sinimulan niyang gawin ang takdang-araling hindi niya nasagutan kagabi. Sa loobloob niya, kailangan niyang matapos ito – masiyadong maganda ang araw na ito para masira pa lalo. Matatapos na sana niya ito nang biglang mayroon nang umupo sa kanyang likuran. Lumingon siya sa kanyang likuran. Nagkatinginan sila nang matagal. Matapos ang ilang sandali, iniwasan rin ng kaklase ang kanyang makahulugang tingin. Muli niyang binalikan ang sinasagutang takdang-aralin. Wala na siyang maintindihan sa sinasagutan niya. Nagsimulang manginig ang kanyang kamay.Agad niyang dinabog ang kwaderno sa kanyang silya at dali-daling tumakbo papalabas ng kanilang silid-aralan. Maliwanag pa rin ang araw sa labas. Noon di’y narinig ang isang tinig na marahang humihikbi.

Roselyn Ko

Matapos ang

Paghihiwalay


Muro ami

gian dapul

we are caught like fish in a net . with the smallest holes our view of the world past us and the water that flows y spaces tin is screened into these through which we peer es with our unblinking ey er places. oth ch and struggle to rea we fail to realize ce that there is no differen are we between the where to be, and the where we want nets except that in these nylon much faster. die to it becomes our wont

Exercise 4.1 gian dapul futility

to impart substance, she drags feet and time and herself ts difficult to hold as her own departs as dust and par little remains of between dry and calloused fingers. minds only minds her but little remains of her but she mold between the to whose attentions escape, difficult y glass windows hours minds linger. in this room dirt eyes. her tries to are the choice for the glaze of their e suspended. arms let substance settle remain like haz ts she imparts fall extended fall to her sides as the par side or beneath the like knees to a floor to be swept out exhausted all of her crack of a door. exhausted she has or calloused fingers. that one can hold between cracked


Sometimes, maybe, it doesn’t matter gian dapul

And the clouds are blanketed across the sky in the pattern that sand makes when the waves are uneven over it. And the dogs raise their heads from their torn garbage bags and other-dog asses to look at the crawl of traffic along a two-lane road made three. I think sometimes they are willed to return to their trawl of the desirable, to eat, to touch, to rut. I think sometimes they continue to stare at the mundane and wonder how they belong under the sand that is the sky. And I think, sometimes, in the fifteen minutes the pensive become content with their position in a car and position in a road and position among people, Sometimes, maybe, it doesn’t matter.

Wave-particle duality gian dapul

The matter at hand, is it discrete, or does it disturb the medium?


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Zine  

2011 Zine, Heights, The Official Literary and Artistic Publication and Organization of the Ateneo de Manila University

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